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Meet Justin Clark of Whiz Tutor in Santa Clarita

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Clark.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
About 2 years ago I was trying to help my brother Brett Clark (also a co-founder) with finding clients to tutor. My brother Brett was going to school for his Master’s degree in Physics at the time, so he didn’t have time to work a full-time job. He would tutor for extra cash to keep afloat. I set out to help him find more clients and expand his market. As I began to learn more about the market and what parents were seeking, I had a breakthrough idea. It came to my attention that there are thousands of college students out there that can tutor many different subjects just like my brother. These students are always looking for extra ways to make money. So I thought what if I build a platform where qualified talented college students can create an online tutor profile; add a photo, a Bio, and set their own price. Then I would connect these students tutors with parents and other students that needed help. It was the Airbnb of tutoring.

So I did exactly that. The only problem is I had no development or coding experience. I went to meetups and startup events and over time I was able to build an amazing team to help bring my Idea to life. The original team is still together to date. John Salzarulo (CTO), Jean Paul Sio (Designer/Developer), Brett Clark (COO), Scott Visner (CFO) Ryan Rodriguez (CMO) Kross Ruiz (developer).

It took us 6 months to build our app and our web platform. Today we have more than 750 tutors throughout Southern California and Chicago.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
While we were building Whiz Tutor, we faced so many struggles. First, my brother and I had no development or coding experience. Finding a group of talented individuals that believed in our idea as much us to work for free was extremely hard.

When we first built our app and web platform, we got it so wrong. Our first design was absolutely terrible and hard to use. We went back to the drawing board multiple times and interviewed countless users to finally land on a solid product.

There was one point where we had only about 2 weeks runway of capital left. I remember pitching over 2 dozen friends and angel investors in a single week to find emergency money to keep going. I managed to get the money right in time-saving us from failure.

One of the worst problems we faced was when we first launched we managed to have over 100 tutors in Los Angeles, but we had a very small amount of students booking those tutors. Our platform was over saturated on one side of the market. A lot of our tutors just sat there on our platform and never got a single booking for months. Well, when we finally did get students to use Whiz Tutor our tutors were nowhere to be found. Students would book them but they deleted our app. When you compare this to the chicken and egg problem, we never really solved who our chicken was and who our egg was. In the beginning, we did not know who to get first. This small mistake almost destroyed Whiz Tutor.

Please tell us about Whiz Tutor.
Whiz Tutor is a marketplace for students and parents to find local qualified tutors at an affordable rate. We specialize in connecting parents and students with local tutors through the use of mobile technology and our web application.

We built the simplest platform for a student to book a tutor anywhere, anytime right from the palm of their own hand. Ranges all the way from Kindergarten to College level.

Whiz tutor is extremely affordable because we partner with college students and not traditional tutors. We empower college students that are studying high-end subjects like physics, chemistry, math, and other subjects to tutor. Prices start at $25 and go up from there. All tutors set their own price according to what they think their skill level is.

Students connect with our tutors on a much personable level because most tutors have taken the class the student is in before them. Plus, they are usually much closer in age when compared to a teacher or traditional tutor.

What sets Whiz Tutor apart from anything else available is that you can directly book a tutor from your phone and meet him/her that same day right in the comfort of your home at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
So many memories its hard to just pick one. Growing up as a child I lived on a lively street filled with many other kids my age. After school every day, I spent my entire evening hanging out with friends building so many different things. Every week, we would work on a new project. It ranged from turning a couch into a bicycle, adding an engine to a kett cart to make it a go-kart, building miniature motorcycles, or working on weird science projects that usually ended with some kind of explosion. I look back now and they were all experiments. My favorite memory is having so much time to explore and learn during those years.

Pricing:

  • Starts at $25/hr

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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